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Old 10-27-2010, 12:26 PM
nikk nikk is offline
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Default Tags/Metadata and uncompressed formats?

Hi guys, newb question: I have my library of 500 CDs ripped by itunes into AIFF. I use this with my Sonos setup and it works perfectly with Genres, Artists, Albums and Album Art all working. I bought a Cowon J3 for the SQ. I am still trying to figure out which uncompressed format will allow me the same functionality as AIFF. I tried converting a few samples from AIFF to WAV using itunes and, as others have mentioned here, these showed up as unknown artists/unknown albums on my J3. I know that FLAC will work, but I would like the mental satisfaction of using an uncompressed format with my J3/Shure SE535s (which I love!). Any help would be much appreciated!
Nik
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2010, 01:16 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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As far as I know, WAV does not support tagging. I would suggest embracing FLAC......since it is lossless, I see no reason not to use it instead of going fully uncompressed.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:22 PM
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Thanks Marvin
i suspected that FLAC was probably the route I was going to have to take. loathe to give up my love affair with uncompressed formats quite so easily though....
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikk View Post
Thanks Marvin
i suspected that FLAC was probably the route I was going to have to take. loathe to give up my love affair with uncompressed formats quite so easily though....
There are different compression levels....so you could use level 0 which is the least amount of compression.
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:04 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Let's talk about facts here. What's been stated about WAV files is correct, namely that the format does NOT support tags (e.g. no ID3 tags, as are supported by MP3 format).

So it's true, if you're looking for a true "lossless" format that DOES support tags, definitely you should re-create your music files from your 500 original CDs into FLAC format. This format is supported by FLAC tags, which the J3 understands.

Alternatively, you could have converted to another true "lossless" format APE, which also has its own tag format: APE tags. However at the moment the J3 supports playing APE music files but strangely does not support the APE tag! I believe this will be fixed in the next J3 firmware release promised by Cowon to be coming out within 1 week (if we can believe the change list included with another international version of the firmware that's already been released). So when that happens, then APE format would be another "lossless" option for you.

If you can convert directly (and automatically, in mass) from your existing lossless AIFF to lossless FLAC and also migrate the tags automatically, this is the approach I would suggest you take. Otherwise, if you can't do that you need to either 2-step (from AIFF to WAV and then WAV to FLAC, manually adding FLAC tag data), or re-create FLAC directly (or from intermediate ripped WAV) from your original CDs.

As far as FLAC is concerned, understanding the different compression levels (0-8) was very well explained by a poster on another forum, that I share below:

---------------------------------------------------------

FLAC is flac. The compression setting is not supposed to have any impact on replay. FLAC is designed to be asymetric. Easy to decompress, which you do every time you play a tune, and not so easy to compress which is something that you do only once, and usually on a real computer.

What the compression setting does is tell the compressor how hard to try to compress the file. Using a higher setting can make the files a little bit smaller, but takes lots longer. If you are sitting in front of the computer watching the compression, you may care. If you queue up the compression and go on to other things, or go to sleep, work, etc. then you might as well use the highest level.

The increased compression is not at all proportional to the time required. You can spend two or three times as long trying to compress for only 10% or so of decreased file size.

-------------------------------------------------------------

In other words, FLAC is lossless, period. So FLAC is FLAC, and compression level is irrelevant as far as playback audio quality is concerned.

The only difference from "compression level" is the physical size of the result and the time to produce it. Otherwise, audio playback quality is the same across the board... because this is a LOSSLESS encoding method.

Personally, for myself using "FLAC Frontend" to create my FLAC files from intermediate WAV (temporarily ripped to hard drive from my original CDs), I use compression level 6 which is the default of "FLAC Frontend".

===>> No audio bits from the original WAV file are lost. Playback is audibly identical to the original WAV.


(if someone feels that what I've said is incorrect, please chime in and correct me. Thanks.)
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:50 PM
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Thanks Marvin, DSperber! I can convert directly from AIFF to FLAC, and i keep all tags. the only thing i lose is Album Art. I guess that is the route I will take.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:26 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikk View Post
Thanks Marvin, DSperber! I can convert directly from AIFF to FLAC, and i keep all tags. the only thing i lose is Album Art.
Don't know why you would say that.

First, I admit I know essentially zero about AIFF (and its tags), and know even less about iTunes. I use standard Windows tools and programs and 3rd-party players/utilities to work with my music collection and associated album art. I create my own MP3 and FLAC files from my own CD collection, I scan my own album art from the CD covers, and I use programs that do as much as possible automatically (per my customization and settings) so that I don't have to be bothered doing anything (or much) manually.

Next, FLAC tags (for FLAC files) DO support imbedded album art, just like ID3 tags (for MP3 files) support imbedded album art. You don't have to lose anything if you want to imbed that album art inside of each music file's FLAC tag.

Personally, I don't use that approach with either MP3 or FLAC, as I use the much more simple and efficient "cover.jpg" approach (putting NO album art inside of individual FLAC/MP3 files but rather putting one single "cover.jpg" image file in the album folder which hosts all of the music files for that album... be they FLAC or MP3 or whatever). The J3 supports both methods, either imbedded album art within each file or "cover.jpg" in the album folder, or a mixture. So you have a choice.

If you want to preserve art, and you currently have imbedded art in your AIFF files, just use some program to "extract" that art and save it somewhere. Presumably if you got that art added to your AIFF tag, you should also be able to do the reverse and extract it from the AIFF and put it somewhere as an ordinary JPG.

Then after you convert AIFF to FLAC you can use MP3TAG to "add cover" to the FLAC tag for that FLAC file, pointing to the extracted album art JPG from your AIFF that you saved earlier.

Or, much more conveniently and simply, just create a single folder in which all of the FLAC files for that single album will reside, and copy the extracted album art JPG (from your AIFF) and put it into that same album folder as well... naming it "cover.jpg". You don't have to imbed it anywhere in any individual FLAC file, and the J3 will still display it anytime you play any of those FLAC files from that particular album's folder!

So you can go either way, depending on your desire. Most importantly you need to be able to "extract" your existing album art image from the AIFF file and thus make it available either to (a) MP3TAG for "add cover" to imbed it inside of the FLAC tag, or (b) copy to the album folder which holds the music files for that album, including these new FLAC files, and call the album art file "cover.jpg".

No need to lose album art in this project of yours, just like there's no need to lose tag data. Yes, it seems kind of a manual process (unless you can find a program that will convert your AIFF tag + imbedded album art to FLAC tag + imbedded album art), but this is the nature of your project.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:47 AM
nikk nikk is offline
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Dsperber, i manually ripped each of my CDs, found the album art on Amazon or other sites and manually inserted them. the prospect of doing so again underwhelms me somewhat. I guess I will convert to FLAC, but happily live without the album art! Thanks again.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:39 PM
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Yes!! I used MediaMonkey and it batch converts my AIFF files to FLAC (zero compression) AND keeps the album art! btw, MediaMonkey reads AIFF files as m4a files, which the Cowon J3 WILL play. Album art does not show up when you drag and drop an m4a folder to the Cowon, but i am working on that.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:44 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikk View Post
Yes!! I used MediaMonkey and it batch converts my AIFF files to FLAC (zero compression) AND keeps the album art! btw, MediaMonkey reads AIFF files as m4a files, which the Cowon J3 WILL play. Album art does not show up when you drag and drop an m4a folder to the Cowon, but i am working on that.
Glad to hear you are making progress!
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:55 PM
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Glad to hear you are making progress!
Slowly, but surely - thanks in no small part to you!
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